A shipwreck near Castle Black sees Dr. Nicholas Warner risking his life to save a woman from the churning sea. As he pulls her to the safety of the shore, the villagers are stunned by her presence. She is no stranger to them. They identify her as Viola Grantham, Lady Ramsleigh, wife of the recently deceased Lord Percival Ramsleigh...a woman who supposedly died nearly two years earlier.
Viola, thanks to her cold, unfeeling father, her abusive husband, and his profligate nephew, has no trust for men and very little use for them. But there is something about Dr. Warner that she cannot so easily dismiss. Drawn to him seemingly against her will and better judgement, she confides in him about the son she bore in secret, the heir to her late husband and that she had only returned to secure his future and his place in society.
As they spend more time together, their feelings for one another deepen. But their happiness and growing affection for one another are threatened by Viola's past. The late Lord Ramsleigh's nephew, Randall, will not willingly give up the title, even if his aunt has returned from the dead and is presenting a child as the true heir to the title. In fact, there is nothing he will not do and no depths to which he will not sink to ensure that never happens.